Effects Of Sexual Abstinence On Men And Women

Sexual abstinence refers to a situation in which a person, voluntarily or involuntarily, does not have sex for some time. As the pros and cons of it are being discussed a lot, let us look at the effects of sexual abstinence on men and women.

Sexual abstinence is a complex and a debatable issue. However, there is still no definite answer to whether avoiding sexual intercourse is healthy or not. Ones who are against it usually point out that sex is a physical need which if not met, can lead to various mental and physical problems. But people supporting abstinence often cite the example of monks who, even after living in celibacy, stay in perfect health. Both theses point of views seem pretty convincing. So, before deciding to adopt celibacy, read this article to clearly understand the effects of sexual abstinence on men and women.

Effects Of Sexual Abstinence On Men And Women

Effects of Sexual Abstinence On Men And Women

Different things happen to a person’s body after they stop having sex. Most of these are not great, but neither are they life threatening. Some effects of sexual abstinence on men and women are:

Weakening of the Immune System

Sexual activity can positively affect the body’s immune function. But, sexual abstinence can keep one from deriving those benefits, and makes them more prone to infections and illnesses which the immune system would block otherwise. Thus, the risk of weak immune system is one of the major effects of sexual abstinence on men and women.

Decrease in Libido

Although this has still not been proven, but experts believe that a period of abstinence can eventually reduce sexual desire or libido in men and women, as the body’s hormonal response to arousal dampens. This too is one of the important effects of sexual abstinence on men and women.

Spike in Stress Level

Regular sex is an effective stress buster. So, abstinence from sex can result in higher stress reactions and reduced ability to cope with anxiety. In relation to this, the effects of sexual abstinence on men and women may also include frustration and lack of confidence. Researchers also found that people who do not have sexual intercourse regularly experience higher blood pressure spikes in response to stress than ones who do.

Increase in the Risk Cardiovascular Health

A good sexual life is strongly related to cardiovascular health. It is believed that it helps to strengthen the heart and decreases the risk of heart attacks. By practicing celibacy, a person would not be able to reap these heart benefits. However, not much research has been done to understand what exactly happens to the heart after a period of abstinence.

Improved Relationship

Sexual abstinence, if practiced for a short period of time by couples, can lead to increased affection towards each other, and also add some passion into their relationship. Abstinence can even increase sensitivity and help people derive more pleasure from sex. This may be one of the welcome effects of sexual abstinence on men and women.

Slower Arousal

Having sex regularly is a way of activating the sexual organs. The lubrication process of arousal, wherein the vulva and vagina becomes “wet”, benefits from regularity. But if one stops having sex for a while, they might require a bit of extra help for arousal when they get back to their normal sexual life.

Decrease in the Risk of UTIs, STDs and Unwanted Pregnancy

Sexual abstinence can help to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). It can also protect against urinary tract infections (UTIs) which are often caused by the transfer of bacteria to the urinary tract during sex, especially from the anus. However, these infections can also spread from nonsexual contact. Also, sexual abstinence can reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy in women.

Stagnation of Brain Growth And Intelligence

It is a traditional belief that abstinence makes a person more intelligent. However, one of the effects of sexual abstinence on men and women actually says the opposite. Scientists have found that sexual activity boosts neuron growth in the brain’s hippocampus, while abstinence does not make the brain grow at all.

Negative Impact On The Vagina

The sensation of tightness in the vagina is not influenced by abstinence from sex. However, the tissues of the vagina get out of habit of relaxing in response to insertion or arousal, and may the need to be coached again into it the next time the person has sex. This is one of the important effects of sexual abstinence on women.

Higher Risk of Erectile Dysfunction

In men, the effects of sexual abstinence can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction. Studies show that regular sexual activity has a positive effect on a man’s erections. Regular ejaculations can also help a man avoid prostate cancer.


Sex is considered a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. From relieving stress and feeling relaxed, to fighting various diseases, regular intercourse surely offers an array of health benefits. So, by avoiding sex, one would keep them self away from enjoying all the perks it brings along with it.

However, with the list of pros, sex also has its cons. Be it STD, UTI or unplanned pregnancy, sex can cause them all. Clearly, people do not need to avoid sex forever, but in some cases, it is better to refrain from having it than regretting later.

Considering the effects of sexual abstinence on men and women, a person should decide the best and seek the help of a medical expert, if needed.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 20, 2019

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